E. Baltimore group anticipates 'Showtime' spotlight


January 21, 1995|By Steve McKerrow | Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer

A Baltimore vocal group hopes winning a local radio station's talent search will provide the break needed to win a national recording contract.

"The goal is to move up to a major level. We're doing our best to get attention," says Timothy Bruce, better-known in performing circles as "T," one of the founding members of the a cappella quartet T.U.I. (for Totally Unique Individuals).

The four young men from East Baltimore were scheduled to sing their mellow harmony in New York last night for a taping of "It's Showtime at the Apollo," the nationally syndicated television talent show from the famous theater in Harlem.

T.U.I. won its national debut appearance as the top prize last month in a talent contest sponsored by WXYV-FM (102.7) and Lay's Potato Chips. The group sang the Boyz II Men hit "I'll Make Love To You," and planned that number as its Apollo selection, too.

"I heard you guys were like blowing up the spot," deejay Frank Ski told the quartet Thursday during a live appearance on the V-103 morning show. They sang a few bars of their single "Don't Cry," recently recorded by the local Swing 'n Soul studio and getting airplay on V-103.

T.U.I.'s TV appearance is not scheduled to air until May 6. "It's Showtime at the Apollo" can be seen at midnight Saturdays on WNUV-Channel 54.

The quartet began as a duet. Mr. Bruce and Yulmon Battle, known on stage as "U.I.," knew each other from their East Baltimore neighborhood around North Avenue and Chester Street. They began singing together in a trio called Trend.

They broke off four years ago to form a duet, then within a month added Lionel Torrence, who calls himself "Lonnie the Hot Chocolate Man." A few months later, an old friend of his, Terrence "Diamond" Barnes, turned the trio into a quartet.

T.U.I. also plans a live performance during "Ujima '95," a 'N fund-raiser for the fight against leukemia, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 4 at Reisterstown Road Plaza, sponsored by V-103 and WJZ-TV. For information, call 825-2500.

* WWLG-AM (1360) is saying goodbye to its downtown Baltimore studio location tonight with a big-band dance featuring the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. The event is at 8 p.m. in the Calvert Ballroom of the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Since May 1993, the station has broadcast from studios in converted hotel rooms in the Lord Baltimore. But on Feb. 1, the station will be in new quarters in the Dulaney Centre office building in Towson, says general manager Paul Kopelke. He says the station plans to continue periodic swing dance sessions at a location to be announced. For more information, call (410) 433-2427.

* Tom Marr's daily talk show, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on WCBM-AM (680), will originate on Wednesday live from the Capitol in Washington. His guests will include newly elected Rep. Bob Ehrlich of Baltimore County and other members of Congress, talking about the balanced budget amendment and providing reaction to President Clinton's State of the Union speech to be delivered Tuesday night.

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